Having a strong and fully functioning immune system is more important now than ever. With coronavirus sweeping not just the nation but the globe, we’re all doing everything in our power to protect ourselves. While we can’t control everything, we do have a say in certain things. Keep scrolling to learn how to keep your immune system healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy
1. Wash Your Hands Like You Mean It
You started learning the importance of washing your hands back in preschool, and we’re going to revisit it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers specific tips for hand-washing. Lather and scrub your hands for 20 seconds, which equates to singing “Happy Birthday” twice. Get the palms and the tops of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails, too.
Dry them with a towel or let them air-dry. You might want to avoid hand-dryers, though. Although they’re an eco-friendly option, according to Harvard Health Publishing, they might be sucking bacteria out of the air and then blowing it onto your clean hands.
If you’re not able to use soap, opt for a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub it all over your hands until they feel dry.
2. Make Sleep a Priority
The news and social media might be keeping you up late at night with startling headlines, but we have a good reason to unplug and get some shut-eye.
The National Sleep Foundation explains that while we’re sleeping, our bodies produce and release cytokines. Cytokines are a protein that targets infection and inflammation. So, essentially, if you’re not sleeping enough, your body isn’t making cytokines, and your immune system won’t be able to do its job and fight disease.
Plus, getting enough sleep (and quality sleep) helps to protect your body from other health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Even in the midst of this madness, you can keep your immune system healthy by keeping a proper sleep schedule.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
You probably already know that it’s important to your overall health that you stay at a safe weight. However, it gets more complicated than this. Studies suggest that obesity might lead to an impaired immune response or functioning. This, in turn, can increase your chances of getting a number of infections.
It’s not about aesthetics. It’s about health.
When our typical schedules, habits, and routines are thrown off, it can sometimes lead to fluctuations in our weight. It’s understandable, but right now, it’s vital that you maintain a healthy weight so that you can have a strong immune system.
The two most powerful ways to accomplish this are through fitness and nutrition. And on that note...
4. Get at Least 30 Minutes of Exercise on a Regular Basis
Aside from keeping you from going stir-crazy, staying physically active can help keep your immune system healthy, too.
While we can’t prove cause and effect, some research does suggest that exercise can help your immunity in a few different ways.
- It might help flush bacteria out of your lungs, which reduces your chance of illness.
- The increase in your body temperature when you exercise can stop bacteria from growing and also boost your body’s ability to fight infection.
- Physical activity slows down the release of stress hormones in your body. This can protect you against disease.
- Exercise makes your antibodies/white blood cells (which fight disease) circulate faster.
Even if your gym has shut down due to coronavirus concerns, you can still train at home with a simple at-home workout. You don’t need any equipment or weights to get the job done. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, air squats, jump squats, jumping jacks, planks, and mountain climbers will suffice.
Get moving, get your heart rate up a little, and give your lungs a little burn. It’ll do wonders for your immune system health.
5. Eat a Nutrition-Packed Diet
Extra time at home might mean indulging in more comfort food and letting your normal healthy eats fall by the wayside. But you might want to rethink adopting these new habits because what you put in your mouth can affect your immunity.
Is your diet geared toward keeping your immune system healthy? Eat plenty of fiber and antioxidants, which you can find in fruits and vegetables. Protein also helps your immune system do its job, so if you can help it, stock up on chicken, fish, eggs, egg whites, or something like seitan, for a meatless option. (Remember that meat will keep for quite a bit in the freezer.)
More specifically, micronutrients like copper, iron, zinc, selenium, and vitamins A, B6, C, E, and folic acid are important for solid immunity.
On the other hand, be cautious with fat and sugar, which can make you more susceptible to disease. No, you don’t have to cut them out completely. Just consume them in moderation and remember that for every bite you take, your body is going to have a reaction. It’s up to you what kind of reaction that is.
Fuel yourself properly and your immune system will thank you for it.
6. Utilize Electric Muscle Stimulation
We need all the help we can get right now. In addition to staying active and properly nourishing yourself, you can also use an electric muscle stimulation device like PowerDot as your companion.
This will especially come in handy if your normal training routine took a serious hit.
PowerDot offers a number of benefits, including better mobility, reduced inflammation, diminished pain, improved blood circulation, and faster recovery.
Use it while you train. Use it while you rest. You’ll enjoy the benefits either way.
Electric muscle stimulation used to be available only through medical and sports specialists, but we’ve made it more accessible and affordable than ever.
We’ve always had your back when it’s come to keeping you safe, healthy, and injury-free, and that isn’t going to change.
Visit our blog for more ideas on how to stay active at home.